Australia and Asean name for restraint in South China Sea

Australia and Asean call for restraint in SCS, ceasefire in Gaza

Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Laos’ Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone, Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Manet, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Prime Minister of Timor-Leste Xanana Gusmao and Secretary-Normal of ASEAN, Dr Kao Kim Hourn pose for a household picture at Authorities Home in the course of the ASEAN-Australia Particular Summit, in Melbourne, Australia, March 6, 2024. REUTERS

MELBOURNE/SYDNEY — Australia and Southeast Asian nations ended a 3 day summit on Wednesday calling for restraint within the contested South China Sea and an enduring ceasefire within the Gaza Strip.

Australia hosted a summit with the Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in Melbourne to mark the fiftieth anniversary of its ties to the bloc, at the same time as variations remained throughout the ten members on China’s plans to increase diplomatic and navy presence within the area.

A joint assertion by Australia and Asean known as for “rules-based” order within the Indo Pacific, as Beijing appears to extend its presence within the South China Sea.

READ: Australia welcomes Asean leaders with contemporary maritime safety funding

“We acknowledge the advantages of getting the South China Sea as a sea of peace, stability, and prosperity,” the assertion mentioned.

“We encourage all nations to keep away from any unilateral actions that endanger peace, safety and stability within the area.”

A spokesperson for the Chinese language international ministry mentioned that the scenario in South China Sea was usually secure and China’s place on the disputed space was constant and clear.

“We are going to correctly handle variations with the nations involved and totally and successfully implement them with ASEAN nations,” they mentioned in response to questions in regards to the Asean assertion throughout a daily press briefing on Wednesday.

China’s response got here because the Philippines on Tuesday summoned Beijing’s deputy chief of mission in Manila to protest at what it known as “aggressive actions” by Chinese language naval forces in opposition to a resupply mission for Filipino troops stationed on a South China Sea shoal.

READ: Asean summit concentrate on maritime safety, commerce amid South China Sea tensions

Beijing claims nearly the whole South China Sea, a conduit for greater than $3 trillion price of ship-borne commerce every year, and the realm is a significant supply of stress with the Philippines.

Each nations have been locked in a territorial dispute regardless of a 2016 ruling by the Everlasting Courtroom of Arbitration which discovered that China’s claims had no authorized foundation. Beijing rejects that ruling.

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, throughout a press convention with Albanese on Monday, mentioned there was a rising “China-phobia” within the West. In an interview revealed on Tuesday within the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, Anwar claimed the danger of battle within the South China Sea had been exaggerated.

The joint assertion additionally reiterated concern over the “dire” humanitarian scenario in Gaza, in addition to calling for the discharge of hostages held within the Israel-Hamas battle.

“We condemn assaults in opposition to all civilians and civilian infrastructure, resulting in additional deterioration of the humanitarian disaster in Gaza together with restricted entry to meals, water, and different fundamental wants,” the assertion mentioned.

“We urge for an instantaneous and sturdy humanitarian ceasefire.”

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Asean consists of Muslim majority nations, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, whereas Australia is a powerful backer of Israel, though it has beforehand known as for a ceasefire and been crucial of the extent of casualties.

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